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Commanding officer's pennants of the French army in Algeria, 1837

Last modified: 2015-01-24 by ivan sache
Keywords: commanding officer's pennant | brigade | commander-in-chief | ambulance |
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According to Pierre Charrié [chr92], the commanding officer's pennants in the French Army seems to have been invented in Algeria. Charrié lists three possible origins for these pennants:

  • symbols of the delegation of the Royal power overseas
  • special emblems as opposed to Abd-el-Kader's standards
  • imitation of the naval use.

On 9 April 1837, General Bugeaud ordered the following:

"...since it is necessary to be able to find out immediatly where the commanders of brigades and the ambulance are located, each chief of brigade shall order his orderly to bear a pennant [flamme], which shall be red and white for the first brigade, blue and white for the second brigade, blue and red for the third brigade. The commander-in-chief shall have a Tricolor pennant and the ambulance a red pennant."

Duke of Aumale had during the seizing of Abd-el-Kader's smala both a commander's pennant [fanion] and a Governor-General's pennant, described as follows: Tricolor with golden fringe and stripe [galon], in the white stripe a Ducal crown surmounted by the letters HO [for Henri d'Orleans].

These pennants were confirmed and new ones prescribed in Kabylia in 1857.

Ivan Sache, 12 December 2001

1st brigade

[1st brigade in Algeria]by Ivan Sache

2nd brigade

[2nd brigade in Algeria]by Ivan Sache

3rd brigade

[3rd brigade in Algeria]by Ivan Sache


[Comander-in-Chief in Algeria]by Ivan Sache


[Ambulance in Algeria]by Ivan Sache